All Hail Creole Tomato Season!
Though summer in Louisiana can be unbearably hot and humid, one thing helps make it all worth it: Creole Tomato Season.
This season, though fairly short, is the most wonderful time of the year for many Louisiana chefs. Creole Tomatoes are thought to be one of, if not the, most flavorful tomatoes in existence and are therefore a staple in many classic Ruffino's dishes!
Although many argue over the history of the Creole Tomato, we do know that there is technically no true breed of Creole Tomato; they are set apart from other tomatoes based off of where and how they are grown! According to The Times-Picayune, the Creole Tomato is thought to have gotten its start from farmers in St. Bernard and Plaquemine Parishes who used the term "Creole" to separate locally-grown tomatoes from those grown elsewhere. The seeds of these plants were then passed down from generation to generation, all grown in the same way to give them their distinct and delicious flavor.
Fun fact: The tomatoes are planted every year on Good Friday!
But what gives the Creole Tomato its rich flavor? These tomatoes are grown south of New Orleans in the soil of the Mississippi River. Thanks to the frequent flooding of the Mississippi, the tomatoes are able to thrive in its rich, alluvial soil and actually grow better with heat and humidity. (There's certainly no better place than southern Louisiana for that!) They are also the only type of tomato that ripens fully on the vine before being picked, unlike others that are picked green.
So treat yourself to some Creole Tomato Soup or Creole Tomato Salad to taste for yourself just what sets these tomatoes apart!